A game played by over 200 million gamers around the world from elementary age to adults, Fornite has brought on a lot of money laundering questions and how to tackle such circumstances.
Although the game is free, it has generated over $3 billion. Virtual currency is being used to do in-game purchases and this feature has allowed money launderers to launder money either through purchase from stolen credit cards and bitcoin.
The in-game purchases allow money launderers to sell purchased items on the dark web. The launderers according to agents with cybersecurity firm Sixgill are mainly Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Arabic and English.
A senior intelligence analyst at Sixgill, Benjamin Preminger said “Criminals are executing carding fraud and getting money in and out of the Fortnite system with relative impunity.” he continued saying “Threat actors [a malicious person or entity] are scoffing at Epic Games’ weak security measures, saying that the company doesn’t seem to care about players defrauding the system and purchasing discounted V-bucks … This directly touches on the ability of threat actors to launder money through the game.”
Epic Games responded by saying “Epic Games takes these issues seriously, as chargebacks and fraud put our players and our business at risk,” a company spokesperson said. “As always, we encourage players to protect their accounts by turning on two-factor authentication, not re-using passwords and using strong passwords, and not sharing account information with others.”
The issue is bigger than Fortnite as many of the newer games coming out have similar in-game purchase concept and it is becoming widely popular within the gaming industry. There has be a better way to monitor such transactions and users.